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The Weather Makers: The History and Future Impact of Climate Change [Hardcover]

Timothy Flannery
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2 Mar 2006
Terrifying and inspiring, "The Weather Makers" is a page-turning epic that brings the most elusive and powerful of natural phenomena within our grasp. Internationally acclaimed writer, scientist and explorer, Tim Flannery takes us on a journey through history and around the globe as he describes the wondrous diversity of the world's ecosystems, and explains how the great aerial ocean' unites us. Along the way, we meet polar bears and golden toads, and travel from ocean depths to mountaintops, via desert, swamp and rainforest. Flannery reveals how the earth's climate has changed, across millennia and decades, and how the slightest imbalance has had far-reaching, unexpected consequences. The weather - everything from hurricanes to heatwaves - cannot be understood in isolation. With panoramic scope and limitless enthusiasm, Flannery shows how we have come to appreciate this history and contrasts our early primitive attempts at forecasting with our current knowledge of the forces that are shaping the future. And he combines a huge breadth of sources and new evidence to write with complete authority about what that future holds: as we continue to heat the planet, humanity and the entire natural world, face unprecedented dangers and challenges. Flannery makes them real - and he argues forcefully for the solutions that we all should be seeking now. "The Weather Makers" transports us as we share Flannery's wonder at the sheer magnificence and diversity of nature, and grips and inspires us as he conjures up a vision of our past, present and future.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Allen Lane (2 Mar 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0713999217
  • ISBN-13: 978-0713999211
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.8 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 696,234 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


'If you are not already addicted to Tim Flannery's writing, discover him now: this is his best book yet' -- Jared Diamond

'It would be hard to imagine a better or more important book' -- Bill Bryson

'This is a magnificent book; exciting, poetic, passionate' -- Redmond O'Hanlon

About the Author

Tim Flannery is an internationally acclaimed writer, scientist and explorer. As a field zoologist he discovered and named more than thirty new species of mammals, including two tree-kangaroos. His pioneering work in New Guinea prompted Sir David Attenborough to describe him as being 'in the league of the all-time great explorers like Dr David Livingstone'. He now lives in Adelaide where he is Director of the South Australian Museum and a Professor at the University of Adelaide. He is also chairman of the South Australian Premier's Science Council and Sustainability Roundtable; a director of the Australian Wildlife Conservancy; and the National Geographic Society's representative in Australasia. In April 2005 he was honoured as Australian Humanist of the Year. Tim Flannery's many books include the award--winning international bestsellers The Future Eaters and Throwim Way Leg, and The Eternal Frontier. He has also edited and introduced many historical works, including The Birth of Sydney, The Diaries of William Buckley and The Explorers.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Until a black mood takes her and she rages about our heads, most of us are unaware of our atmosphere. Read the first page
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book!!! 12 Mar 2006
By A Customer
This book clearly sets out the facts and science of climate change and is easy and enjoyable to read.
Climate change has the potential to have a major impact on each of our lives either as individuals, consumers, business men/women, investors etc.
This book gives you a clear picture of what is actually happening through examples and clearly taking you through the science behind it. It gives the different possible outcomes and gives you an idea of what to expect and how soon to expect it.
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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Counting the losses 30 Jan 2006
By Stephen A. Haines HALL OF FAME
"Not another book on climate change!", you lament. Readers may feel surfeited by the rash of books on "global warming" appearing in the past few years. The feeling is understandable. The situation should be considered an indication of how serious the problem is for all humanity. In this case, the author introduces a little-considered aspect. Tim Flannery, whose keen eye and bountiful wit always offers something new presented in a easily readable way, will not leave you jaded nor have your head nodding in ennui. Although Flannery does address some questions dealt with elsewhere, he adds the most significant topic of all - the future of life.
As a zoologist, Flannery has extensive field experience in the forests of New Guinea and elsewhere. He's written of human impact on large animals in North America and Australia. Here, he writes of human impact on all life. Instead of hunting animals to extinction, humans are modifying the entire biosphere through pollutants and gases. This indirect imposition has already killed off at least one species, he demonstrates. In explaining how the Golden Toad went extinct, Flannery sets the scene expansively. The Toad wasn't just a local phenomenon, but died out due to wide-ranging changes in ocean temperature, air mass movements and changes in rainfall. This combination of influences resulted in what appeared to us as a minimal change in habitat. To the Golden Toad, that "minimal change" proved catastrophic. The object lesson is clear. How much change will the species humans rely on for survival tolerate? Flannery, citing James Lovelock's "Gaia" hypothesis of the biosphere as a tightly woven "system", argues that the tolerance for change is meagre. And human-induced change is squeezing the tolerance downward.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Easy if slightly disturbing reading 18 Aug 2008
By Iorras
We Are the Weather Makers: The Story of Global Warming

This is an interesting little book which will keep you reading right to the end. Tim Flannery takes a global look at climate change issues and global warming and although he doesn't quite get it all right all the time (he says Iceland was the country allowed to exceed its 1990 CO2 levels by the greatest amount (10%) but he was unaware that Ireland was allowed to exceed 1990 levels by 13% (and despite these extremely favourable conditions, has managed to mess up and exceed quota by almost three times that amount - SHAME on my selfish and corrupt Government, FDI and countrymen and women!!) Fast paced, Flannery skips from issue to issue to issue. When will we, as a nation and as a world realise that in order for our children and their children to have a future, we MUST act now and QUIT behaving like the self indulgent prats which abound in every town and city in Ireland and across much of the so-called 'developed' world? Is it worth despairing or are we homo sapiens deserving of the future which will befall us (and most other creatures who have the misfortune to share our planet) for our stupidity and greed? Anyway, this book is worth a read. Just wish I could shove it down the throats of those who need to read it too.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
By Mark Shackelford TOP 1000 REVIEWER
The author carefully discusses the various potential futures for the planet, looking at the different scenarios in a scientific reasoned way. He looks at the changes likely for a wide range of habitats and species, showing that most parts of the Earth will be badly affected by even low rises in average temperature.
He then looks at the causes - and there are some horror stories of political lobbying by the various Carbon Power businesses (rather like the tobacco industry's attempts to thwart scientific investigation of the links to cancer in the pursuit of profit at the expense of human life).
Finally he looks at the ways that we, or rather, (unfortunately) our politicians, can do something about it. Individually we can make a small change, but it needs consistent, combined efforts by our governments to save the planet from a new "Dark Age" brought on by extreme weather conditions.
A well written, balanced view of the Earth's future. If only all politicians of all nations would read this, then the planet would have a chance.
The alternative is to go and live in a small-holding in the North of England, grow your own food, and have your own wind and solar power generators. Unfortunately, as most of us live packed into cities, this will only be available for a few - and the rest of the population will no doubt turn to anarchy...
Ah well, we've had a good run for our money - the 60's and 70's were probably the final golden age of civilisation on the planet. Now, unless a miracle happens and the Power Lobby and the Car Manufacturers get a radical change of heart, we are heading inexorably towards the new Dark Ages.
So, in the words of the great Douglas Adams, "So long, and thanks for all the fish..."
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book. I've bought this countless times for people.
Amazing book. Tim Flannery manages to communicate the degree of complexity of the environmental issues that we're up against without intimidating the reader. Beautifully written. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Scott Saunders
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tim Flannery Encouragement!
The Weather Makers was written by Tim Flannery and was published in 2007. The book may be slightly outdated, however the book still manages to engage my interest around climate... Read more
Published on 18 July 2011 by Lil' Josh
1.0 out of 5 stars Feeble and alarming for all the wrong reasons
Flannery is not a climate scientist. He does not have a stiff upper lip, nor does he cope well with scare stories. Read more
Published on 31 May 2011 by Occasional Thinker
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and Unsettling.
This is an easy to understand and well written account of the most up to date scientific understanding of what we are doing to our planet. Read more
Published on 30 May 2011 by kat devon
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
This is an excellent book. It clearly explains the causes of climate change and provides convincing evidence to support the idea that the climate is changing. Read more
Published on 11 May 2010 by Ian M. Buchanan
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Condition
The item was sent promptly and was well packaged allowing it to remain in its great condition.
Published on 6 Aug 2009 by Dax Wood
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Book I Have Read On Climate Change
I am relatively new to literature regarding the environment and matters of sustainability, so only have a limited perspective on the topic, but I have to say this book is the most... Read more
Published on 2 Nov 2008 by Bern
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone should read this book
Superbly written, easy to understand (even for non-science people like me) and well laid out with facts and details cleaerly defined for the reader to make their own conclusions. Read more
Published on 7 April 2008 by Diamind
5.0 out of 5 stars Balanced, informative, highly recommended
This is a very balanced and fair view of the subject, extremely informative and intelligently written. Read more
Published on 14 Jan 2008 by hjcmje
5.0 out of 5 stars A rude awakening to global warming.
Flannery provides readers with a interesting, yet informative look at our planet and how our human society is effecting it. Read more
Published on 16 Dec 2007 by Laur B
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